It’s Not Just a Show

I hate the TV show Survivor.

There, I said it. Whew, that felt good.

Clearly, though, not everyone shares my opinion seeing as how it has scores of avid fans and has been on for years. Here’s what it is for me…I just can’t get into a show where the whole premise is rewarding whoever schemes, deceives, and manipulates the best. To me, that’s not entertainment. It’s sick.

Maybe it wouldn’t bother me so much if I didn’t see that happening in the world, but it is…and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. If we applaud it in one arena, how can we condemn it in another? By cheerfully inviting this behavior into our living rooms every week, we send a message of approval. So when Survivor goes dark and the 9 o’clock news opens with the latest scandal in politics or on Wall Street, we have little right to act indignant.


Illustration: Truth and Lie

I can already hear people saying it: “But that’s different…it’s just a game…”

Yes, it is. But that doesn’t make it meaningless or detached from Real Life. I’ve played a lot of sports, and those are just games. They are not as important as Real Life…but they are not separate things either. If I cuss at my teammates and punch opponents in the face, it still matters. And it’s probably indicative of how I am outside of the game. What if I’m coaching 6-year-olds in Little League, is it ok for me to tell Junior he’s a hopeless loser when he misses the ball? Why not? It’s not Real Life—it’s just a game, right?

Because it still matters. It has influence. And it points to a wider problem.

That’s why I do care when the President cheats on his wife. I do care if the Senator is doing drugs on the weekends. It might be their personal life, but it matters. If they will lie, cheat, and steal from their friends and family—the people who are closest to them and most vulnerable to suffering because of their behavior—then of course they will do it to the public.

So all that to say I hate Survivor.

*Sound of me stepping off my soapbox.*


2 thoughts on “It’s Not Just a Show

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